Hi, this is my first report, I don't really know what to write but here goes.......
Unless you have been on Mars or in a coma for the past couple of weeks you would most probably have heard about this Manor House. Some pictures were posted & the guys who posted them had pretty much made it crystal that they were not going to be sharing its location. The post stated that they hoped that people would forget about it & that it would be saved. Or to put it another way - they threw the gauntlet down big time and by doing that it had made it the UK’s most hunted derp within the UE community, and surprise surprise within a day it had been found by more than one person. The actual post & chats that I had with them gave me a couple of very good clues & to be fair to the guys when I told them that I had it they did clue me up with everything I needed to know.
Anyway, It just so happened that I was in the area with some free time on the Wednesday so I popped along. I got there before sun up & had the house to myself for a couple of hours, it was a pretty much ad hoc visit & quickly realised that I needed a wider lens, I knew some guys were planning to hit it on the Saturday & decided a revisit was in order.
Messages were sent & arrangements were made for the pre-Sun up meet, I’d gotten wind that there may be a few people there so I was not surprised to see a few other faces when I opened the door at around 7am. The pre-dawn light, or rather lack of it meant that we all sat around having a chat & a schmoke as more & more people turned up out of the darkness. I didn’t count but I’m told that at 08:30 there were 21 of us in the house and that the snack bar had ran out of breakfast rolls & that pin badges & t shirt sales were through the roof.
The 19th century house itself is on a massive estate and parts of the estate are live & lived in. There are 2 floors & a basement, the house has some lovely features, the stairs, the swimming pool & indoor courtyard & there’s plenty to spend a couple of hours there photographing. The basement is quite big & has a drive in access point & (GoonTube Click bait warning time) has a FERKIN PANZER TANK in one of the rooms, that’s the headlines and that’s what the Goons will be selling it as but the reality is that it is a home made & nowhere near finished & is made of wood. A bit meh for me tbh. Just outside the house there is a BMW parked half in a bush. The house is ok, the features are great but there’s more to be offered from this site. There’s numerous buildings to visit & as soon as I had shoot the last bits I wanted to shoot myself, Paul & Curt went off to see what we could find, there were some ruins , out buildings & a pyramid near the house that looked cool & as we were walking through the woods we could hear the familiar sound of guns being shot in the not too far distance. We had a bit of a scout around & found the ‘hunters’ in an adjacent field. Now if this was a GoonTube video we’d have become the ‘hunted’ but as this is real life we just ignored them & went the other way. One of our goals was the indoor Tennis courts, this was pretty hard to miss once you got near it. We opened the door & were amazed, yeah it was a tennis court, but it’s last use had been as a venue to watch the Football World Cup on a projector screen, there was a bar set up & every nations flag was hanging up & bunting all over the place, we found a large number of pint glasses depicting the “World Cup 1996” so it appears that it was the last time the courts had been used other than for a bit of storage. TBH it was quite trashy but among the trash we found (click bait warning) a HUMAN SKELETON!! And what you going to do with a skull on a explore? Yep, put glasses on it & a fag in its mouth, named him Dr McCoy and take some pictures. What... you wouldn’t... yeah I know, Exploring is a serious business but I like to have a laugh too while I’m out visiting. We were in the tennis courts for quite some time before going to the wood sheds & then the boat house. The boat house was the main thing on my hit list & it was ok, I was setting up to shoot & among the sounds of gun shots ringing out we heard someone shouting “YOU IN THE WOODS!! STAY STILL!!” so we done what any self respecting Umbexer would do & we bailed back through the wood to the soundtrack of “STAY THERE!” & gunshots. As we were running I got my foot caught and I went down like I’d been shot, Paul & Curt were worried & frantic, and by worried & frantic I mean pissing themselves laughing, I don’t know if it was a dream or not but I’m sure I heard Paul say “what the fuck are you doing on the floor, get up!” and as I got up I could see that we’d run into the guy who was shouting at us. “What you doing on my land?” the ruddy faced man shouted, “We’re photographing the Red Kites” I replied & he told us to go over the fence & “gerroff moi land” & we left.
Well, that was my first report, probably my last too :-